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Review Marathi

Gotya review: Interesting attempt marred by immature treatment

Release Date: 06 Jul 2018 / Rated: U / 02hr 12min

Cinestaan Rating

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Blessy Chettiar

With an experienced hand at the helm, Gotya might have turned into a better experience for all, the cast as well as the viewers.

The school-going boys of a small village somewhere in Maharashtra are obsessed with the local sport of marbles, or gotya. Story-screenplay-dialogue writer and director Bhagwan Vasantrao Pachore has a far-fetched yet brilliant idea. He wants to bring the game of marbles the dignity and popularity of games like cricket and football. But is he able to translate this one-line idea into a full-length feature film? We will find out.

Pachore uses nostalgia as a crutch to drag his idea for a full 132 minutes. A popular TV serial of the same name in the 1980s was about a mischievous boy and his antics. Except for the mischief, this Gotya bears no resemblance to the 1980s Gotya. However, the scene where Gotya’s mother thrashes him when he is found playing with his friends in an open ground is a direct enactment from the very first episode of the TV serial.

Gotya (Rushikesh Wankhede) was born to play marbles. In a flashback we are told that when his mother was pregnant with him, she accidentally swallowed a marble. This apparently heightened Gotya’s affinity towards gotyas (marbles) to the extent where he gathers support to have the sport taught formally in school. His army of little boys goes on a hunger strike, compelling the authorities to get the sport included in the school curriculum. The teachers relent, prepare a demo, and we see how the simple game of marbles could be made competitive.

Pachore finds no novel way to say what the kids want so badly. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that every character just repeats the line ‘Shaalet gotya shikavlyach pahije [The game of marbles must be taught in schools]' every chance they get to irritate the viewer. How you wish they simply moved on and did not destroy happy marble memories for the audience.

What follows is an attempt to convince the viewer how playing marbles requires focus and concentration and builds musculoskeletal health. While the effort is genuine, the unintended double entendre often muddles the seriousness with which Gotya and friends see the game of marbles.

Rajesh Shringarpure, who devises rules to the game, trains students, and eventually becomes Gotya’s personal coach, keeps a straight face to let the audience believe in what he says. However, he himself doesn’t look convinced of what he is made to do.

Rushikesh Wankhede delivers a genuinely innocent act, but for some reason you don’t root for his character.

There are other characters like Gotya's mother (Surekha Kudchi) who overacts and barely looks like a poor village woman. Kamlakar Satputhe plays Gotya’s father who also attempts comedy, but his antics fall flat because of the abrupt editing. Many scenes are treated as mere sketches with no connection to the actual plot.

While sports films are all the rage in Hindi cinema currently, Pachore had a great, novel idea to present. However, his execution is found wanting in many areas. His eventual decline into jingoism in an effort to make India great again (at playing marbles) completely puts you off.

For an outdoor sport taken indoors, shooting must have been a big challenge. VFX come to the rescue, but do little to hold your interest.

With an experienced hand at the helm, perhaps Gotya could have turned into a better experience for all, the cast and the viewers. Don’t lose your marbles over Gotya.


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